5 Brilliant Ways to Use Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup is such a wonderful thing. It’s delicious in every way. Did you know maple syrup has some pretty amazing health benefits as well? It contains numerous antioxidants, fights anti-inflammatory disease, and is a healthier alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Oh yeah! Let’s just pour a little more maple syrup on our pancakes! But why should pancakes get all the fun?? Go to the store and pick up a bottle of maple syrup, then check out the delicious maple syrup featured recipes below.

For these recipes the awesome folks at Baird Farm sent me a bottle of Maple Syrup to use. This Vermont farm has been maple sugaring for four generations.
“Every spring [they] boil down sap from thousands of maple trees which grow on the mountains above [their] sugarhouse. The result, amazing pure maple syrup for all to enjoy. For more information about Blaird Farm and how to purchase a bottle of maple syrup, visit http://www.bairdfarm.com

1. Put it on bacon. I mean let’s just start this list off right!

The Queen’s Maple Bacon

Preheat 350

10 slices thick turkey bacon

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cracked pepper

Spray cast iron skillet with non-stick spray.

Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and cracked pepper in a bowl.

Place bacon strips into mix and let set for 5 minutes.

Take bacon out on at a time allowing the excess goodness to drop off.

Place each one in skillet.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

When done, allow bacon to cool.

2. Add it to a cocktail. Maple Syrup is wonderful in a Old Fashioned. I think I need to make one right now.

Maple Old Fashioned

Makes 1

1 tsp maple syrup

2 oz bourbon

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Orange peel for garnish

Mix maple syrup, bourbon, and bitters in a glass.

Add large ice cube and garnish with orange peel.

3. Add it to your coffee. Ever had a Maple Latte? Devine!

Maple Latte

Make 1

1 cup fresh brewed espresso

1 tbsp maple syrup

Add maple syrup to cup of espresso.

Spoon in steamed milk.

4. A Maple Apple Galette will give you your entire life. Run to the store and get a bag of apples right now!

Apple Maple Gallete

4 servings

Preheat 375

1 ready made rolled pie crust

5 medium apples

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp flour

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp butter

Juice of a half lemon

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces and drizzle with lemon juice.

Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and flour in a large bowl.

Toss apples in spice mixture.

Roll out pie crust.

Arrange apples in a circle in the center of the pie crust. Fill center with a few chopped up apples.

Sprinkle apples with pecans and pour maple syrup even over apples.

Fold edge of crust over apples, rotating to overlap crust onto itself.

Brush crust with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

5. Why not chop up The Queen’s Bacon and add it to more delicious maple syrup, then pour it over a bowl of freshly popped popcorn? I vote yes! Let do it!

Maple Bacon Popcorn

5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 cup Queen’s Bacon, chopped (recipe above)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Put popcorn into a bowl.

Combine maple syrup and butter in a glass bowl and microwave until butter melts.

Add bacon to mixture and drizzle over popcorn.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thanks Baird Farm for the Maple Syrup! Happy Maple Syrup Day!

www.bairdfarm.com

*I was given maple syrup complimentary. As always, all opinions are that of my own.

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Fall Cocktails: Autumn Sparkler with Purity Vodka 

We’re a few weeks into Fall and soon the cooler temperatures will be rolling in. With the color changing of the leaves, fall is the most beautiful season. It’s also the best time to go apple picking. The best apple ciders are found right at the apple orchards. On my last visit to Erie Apple Orchards, I picked up a half bushel of a variety of apples and a gallon of apple cider. Now apple cider is amazing on its own, but it’s also tasty with a bit of spirits added to it. I’ve been experimenting with different flavors and have come up with a pretty tasty cocktail. It’s definitely fall in a glass. 

For this cocktail, I’m using Purity Vodka. On its own, it’s very tasty.  Purity Vodka is the ultimate vodka, being named 2016’s Vodka of the Year. “Purity Vodka is made exclusively from natural ingredients including the very finest organic winter wheat and malted barley and is certified organic in Europe and the US.” This Vodka was amazing with practically every flavor combination I tested it with because of how clean and smooth it is. Vodka is pretty awesome with the flavors of fall. Try my fall inspired cocktail below! What fall cocktails have you been enjoying this season?


Autumn Sparkler

2 oz Purity Vodka

2 oz Pumpkin Spice Juice (R.W. Knudsen)

1 oz apple cider

Juice of 1/4 lemon

Ginger Beer

Combine ingredients in a chilled glass and top with ginger beer.
Sip & Enjoy Responsibly! 

* I recieved compensation for my review and use of Purity Vodka. As always, all opinions are that of my own.

Watermelon with Cotija Cheese & Balsamic Drizzle

One of my favorite fruits to enjoy during the summer is Watermelon. It’s sweet, refreshing, and packed full of essential nutrients. Today in celebration of National Watermelon Day, I decided to make a watermelon salad. So I hopped on Pinterest to find a recipe. Most recipes I found called for Feta Cheese. I didn’t have any on hand and I wasn’t feeling going to the grocery store either, so I scratched that. Then I remembered I had some cotija cheese left from the Mexican street corn I made last week. That may work! I cut a piece of watermelon that I just picked up from the farmers market yesterday and sprinkled it with the cheese and added a few drops of balsamic glaze. We had a winner! So good!! It’s really the easiest way to fancy up a plate of watermelon ever! 


Watermelon with Cotija Cheese and Balsamic Glaze

Cut and cube desired amount of watermelon.

Top with desired amount of Cotija Cheese

Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic drizzle.

Yes, it’s really that easy.

40 Tequila Cocktails You Should Be Sipping On Right Now! 

“Drinking tequila is more about the journey than the destination”. -Rainbow Rowell

Tequila originated in the city of Tequila in the 16th century. It is a regionally specific distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant. Since agave grows differently depending on the region, tequila typically varies in flavor. You’ll notice a sweeter aroma and taste from blue agave grown in the highlands Los Altos region. If you prefer a more herbaceous flavor profile, look for agaves harvested in the lowlands.

There are two main types of tequila, 100% Agave and Tequila Mixtos. Mixtos must contain no less than 51% agave with various sugars and additives making up the remaining 49%. From these two categories Tequila is typically bottled into one of five categories:

Silver – a white spirit, unaged and bottled or stored immediately after distillation.

Gold – an unaged silver Tequila that may be flavored with caramel coloring, oak extract, glycerin, or sugar based syrup.

Reposado – Tequila aged at least two months in oak barrels.

Añejo – Tequila aged for at least one year in small oak barrels.

Extra Añejo – Tequila aged at least three years in oak barrels.

Tequila is one of my favorite spirits to get creative with because of how versatile it is. I’ve asked a few food blogger friends to share their favorite tequila based cocktail recipes. I’m going to warn you, they are amazing! You should probably go get a bottle of Tequila right now!

1. Spicy Cucumber Kiwi Margarita

Garlic & Zest

2.The Strawberry Paloma

The Gastronom

3. Fresh Grapefruit Margarita

The Toasty Kitchen

4.  Blood Orange Margarita

Mommy’s Home Cooking

5.   Hibiscus Paloma Cocktail

Honey and Birch

6.  Apple Cider Margaritas

A Nerd Cooks

7.  Sparkling Pineapple Coconut Margaritas

I am a honey bee

8.  Honey Sage Margarita 

Shana Was Here

9.  Frozen Palomas

Blender Happy

10.  Frozen Strawberry Mango Margarita

Girl Heart Food

11.  Where the Sea Meets the Sky

The Gastronom

12.  Tequila Sunrise Slushies

Honey and Birch

13.  Cherry Lime Margarita 

We Are Not Martha

14.  Grilled Watermelon Frozen Margaritas

15.  The Honey Mango Strawberry Margarita

Tasted and See

16.  Blackberry Lime Margarita

Nourish and Fête

17.  Salsa Sunset: A Savory Margarit

18.  Beergarita

19.  Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Isabel Eats

20.  The JH Hibiscus Margarita 

Little Sugar Snaps

21.  Blueberry Basil Margarita 

Supergolden Bakes

22.  Pomegranate Margarita 

Lemon Blossoms

23.  Spicy Jalapeño Margarita 

Rosemary & Rye

24.  Lemon-Lime Magic Margarita 

The Flavor Bender

25.  Elderflower Margarita

Home & Plate

26.  Tamarind Ginger Margarita

27.  Lavender Honey Margarita

Flippin’ Delicious

28.  Grapefruit Habenero Margarita

Platings and Parings

29.  Hot and Bubbly Margarita

Mid-Life Croissant

30.  Cantaloupe Margarita 

One Delightful Life

31.  Cucumber Jalapeño Cilantro Margarita 

I’m Bored Let’s Go

32.  Frozen Raspberry Watermelon Margaritas

The Home Cook’s Kitchen

33.  Mango Margarita (No Sugar Added)

Downshiftology

34.  Spicy Cucumber Mint Margarita 

Tasting Page

35.  Fresh Cranberry Margaritas

Just a Little Bit of Bacon

36.  Spicy Paloma Cocktail

Chew Street

37.  Cantaloupe Margaritas 

Urban Bliss Life

38.  Classic Agave Margarita

Oh She Swooned

38.  Blood Orange Margarita 

The Rising Spoon

39.  Mango Jalapeño Margarita-3 Minute Drink

Easy Cooking with Molly

40.  Grapefruit Margarita 

A Gouda Life

Need more inspiration?? Here’s 15 MORE to check out!!

The Jagerita – Nomageddon

Fresh Strawberry Margarita – Taste and See

Coffee and Donut Patrón XO Café Drink – Hustle. Mom. Repeat

Grilled Pineapple and Peach Silver Tequila Cocktail – One Delightful Life

How to Make the Best Tequila Sunrise Cocktail – Daily Appetite

An Exotic Tropical Margarita – Beyond Mere Sustenance

Frozen Strawberry  Rhubarb Margarita – Champane Taste

Strawberry Jam Margarita – Supergolden Bakes

Sugar Sunset Margarita – Buy This Cook That

Tropical Margarita – Simply Vegetarian 777

Easy Beergaritas – Hello Little Home

Jack’s Ultimate Frozen Margarita – Grits and Pinecones

Silver Cadillac Margarita – Vegan in the Freezer

Grilled Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita – Plating and Pairings

Skinny Coconut Margarita – What the Fork

Summer Cocktails: Strawberry Jalapeño Daiquiri 

Looking for something sweet with a little kick? I invite you to join me in this most fantastic situation. I’m currently on the porch, sipping a very delicious Strawberry Jalapeño Daiquiri. You should be too!

Strawberry Jalapeño Daiquiri   

Makes 1

5 strawberries 

3 slices of Jalapeño 

Juice of a 1/4 lime

2 oz white rum

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup ice
Throw everything into the blender.

Purée 

Pour into glass.

Garnish with strawberry and Jalapeño slice.

Proceed to porch.

Drink Responsibly 
#NationalDaiquiriDay

Summer Cocktails:  Kiwi Cardamon Mojito

Traditionally, a Mojito is a combination of five ingredients:  white rum, sugar, lime juice, mint, and soda water. Those are great! If you can find a bartender who can make a perfect Mojito, you’ve found a friend. 

Today just so happens to be National Mojito Day! Oh yeah! I’m celebrating with something a little different, a Kiwi Cardamon Mojito! Trust me, you want one! The Cardamon plays very well with sweetness of the kiwi. Giving you a very unique sipping experience. Shout out to Mom for providing this beautiful mint that is currently flourishing in her garden!

Kiwi Cardamon Mojito 🥝

Makes 1

1 kiwi peeled and diced
6 mint leaves

2 tbsp sugar

4 Cardamon pods, crushes

Juice of 1/2 lime

Soda water 

1.  Muddle above ingredients in shaker.
2.  Add 1/2 cup ice and 2 oz white rum.
3.  Shake vigorously.
4.  Strain and pour into glass filled with ice.
5.  Top with soda water. 
Garnish with mint leaves and kiwi slices.

Flavor Your Life With Authentic European Extra Virgin Olive Oil  

I love to cook with olive oil. In fact,  I use it every day. It’s pretty much a staple in my pantry.  Recently some concerns have been raised about the authenticity of olive oil here in the US. That’s right, FAKE EVOO!! This happens when olive oil is extracted from one country and then shipped to another, then is blended with oil from other places before being packaged. Unfortunately, some olive oils are severely diluted with other low grade oils. Even worse blended with outdated olive oil. Yuck. 

As a Mom’s Meet Blogger, I am excited to partner with the Flavor Your Life campaign, in support of their mission. Supported by the European Union, Unaprol, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, this campaign’s goal is to educate North American consumers about authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from the European olive, by pressing without heat or chemicals. To guarantee the freshest and purest oil, EVOO is nearly free of acidity. With a high smoke point of 400 degrees F, EVOO is versatile in the kitchen, as it can be used to sauté, bake, and even deep fry. 

Why choose European? For centuries, farmers in Europe have evolved hundred of varieties of olive trees. This connection between the people and optimation of olive trees with the changing environmental conditions and terrains of the land has resulted in the finest extra virgin olive oil in the world. 

To check for your olive oil’s authenticity, look for the country or countries of origin on the label as well as best buy date and lot numbers. You can also look for the European Union PDO certification (Protected Designation of Origin – also know as DOP in Italian) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication – also known as IGP in Italian). – flavor-your-life.com

Today, I used Zucchi’s 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my recipe. Zucchi is a 200 year old company that has been managed by seven generations of the Zucchi family.  Zucchi’ point of difference is their taste, quality, and traceability (with QR code) and the Italian Art of Blending. I loved the flavor profiles of all the varieties I received. AMAZING!! I could totally see myself just dipping some freshly baked bread into a bowl of this awesomeness. It really is that good. I thought any one of these varieties would be perfect for this dish. This recipe is super easy and can be made in 30 minutes! 

Sweet Potato, Carrot & Kale Hash

6 servings

Ingredients

6 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups fresh carrots, peeled and diced

2 cups onion, diced

2 cups kale, chopped and lightly sautéed 

1/4 cup Zucchi 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp Shawarma seasoning

1 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

Transfer to a large skillet and spread evenly.

Put in oven and bake of 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.

To learn more about the Flavor Your Life Campaign and European Extra Virgin Olive Oil, visit flavor-your-life.com.

* I received this product complimentary from Mom’s Meet to use and post my honest opinions.  Compensation was provided for this post and may contain affiliate links.